Dr. Bawumia touts economic progress despite the impact of COVID-19

Dr. Bawumia touts economic progress despite the impact of COVID-19
  • Assures delegates of breaking ‘the eight’ 

The Ghanaian economy continues a remarkable economic recovery at the back of global economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated.

Dr. Bawumia said notwithstanding the adverse impact of COVID-19 on economic growth, debts and deficits at the macroeconomic level, inflation in Ghana stands at 12.2 percent – lower than it was in 2016 (15.4 percent).

“Average bank lending rates in Ghana today (21 percent) are much lower than they were in 2016 (32 percent),” he added.

According to the Bank of Ghana, the average exchange rate depreciation over the last four years (7.3 percent) is the lowest for any first-term government since 1992. The year 2020 recorded one of the lowest rates of depreciation in the last 28 years. The cumulative exchange rate depreciation of 2.6 percent in November 2021 for the year is lower than 9.7 percent depreciation recorded in 2016.

Speaking at the annual national delegates’ conference of the NPP in Kumasi, Dr. Bawumia said: “For the first time in over two decades, the trade balance (the difference between what we export and what we import) recorded a surplus for four consecutive years, from 2017-2020. Gross International Reserves are at US$10.8billion (4.9 months of import cover compared to US$6.9billion (3.5 months of import cover) in 2016.”

Additionally, he observed that: “Our record of creating jobs, over 750,000, is vastly superior to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s record – which froze public service recruitment. So, if our performance on the key macroeconomic indicators (inflation, interest rates, depreciation, external reserves, trade balance and jobs) during the worst global pandemic in 100 years is better than your performance without such a pandemic, how can you say your economic management is better?”

It is against this background that he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will become the first political party in the Fourth Republic to break the eight-year power cycle.

However, he acknowledged that “breaking the eight will not be easy” – but was very optimistic that “for the first time in our history we’ll break the eight”.

He said the NPP has a superior record compared to the opposition NDC, hence it is in pole-position to remain in government after the 2024 elections.

Dr. Bawumia insisted that this should happen with a united front. “I believe, if we’re united, we shall break the eight. Our success will depend on how we conduct ourselves. We must not take each other down, but rather the NDC whose return would be a disaster for Ghana”.

The NPP, he said, has a solid record of achievement in the Fourth Republic. “Our party has become the most important driver of the Ghanaian vision and development agenda. We have been responsible for the most important policies which touch every Ghanaian in every corner of our nation: the NHIS, the school feeding programme, the free antenatal services, the Free SHS, the Free TVET programme among others,” he stated.

Dr. Bawumia said it is the party that births the government. Thus, strengthening party-government relations is key to collective success.

He said the party has a solid track record in many areas of governance – including agriculture, industry, roads, housing, education, health, transformational policies like digitalisation and social interventions among others.

Furthermore, he said, the NPP has not solved all the problems facing Ghanaians, “but we have solved many problems and we have a plan we are working to”.

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